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were killed by Turks — which was to peaks, — you know, in part, what that have been expected, I suppose. I returning was to me.'

. I . should have grieved for them. But my And suddenly Ivanoff fell silent, for sorrow was all for the cliff to which so long that I thought he would speak they had held no claim. And my chance no more. And his next words came unfor happiness now hung on the chance willingly, as if he were wishing that his of another Turkish war. On that story had ended there. chance I chose my profession, — for I 'I stopped in Warsaw, - there was had little money, - and I worked in a conference of engineers — my last. the classroom with a fierceness which You know the Polish. Cold they are worried even those who instructed me. and reserved and calculating, as corWhen, years later, the war did come, I rect as the English, more over-mannerwas a rising young engineer; and very ed than the French. They laugh at us soon after it had given this coast to and they hate us; lazy they call us, and Russia, I came here for a day and crude. And I was the crudest of them bought the cliff which had always been all — my schooling had not rubbed mine.

away my mother's heritage. But my 'I stood, that day, on the outermost word was worth something then, also point of it, over the breakers of the my good-will, so one of the engineers beach. A storm had just passed - took me to his house to dinner and to-morrow will be another such day. I met his youngest daughter there. The wind still blew and, all about me, "They call love blind. But I saw. I the gulls rose and fell on outstretched saw that I was on the verge of my life's wings. I was penniless, and I knew that greatest folly, and the knowledge made my real life still lay at the end of a long that folly the sweeter at the time. Perwait. But the deed to the place was haps I gloried in the fight I fought to

Ι crushed in my fist, and I shouted my claim her. Perhaps I had visions of taktriumph to the waves and heard them ing her from the glittering life about shouting back.

her, from the impeccable puppets with “There is nothing phenomenal in my

whom she danced and chatted, and success after that. I had had good letting this country make a simple and training, big things were being built all normal woman of her. I don't know. I over Russia, and my desire for money saw that her boots were of the thickwas little short of insane. From Yalta ness of gloves, and I did not forget the to Archangel I worked, from Riga to paths which led up to the cliff. I knew Vladivostok, year upon year, and every that hands which could feel as hers felt new ruble which went into the bank was against my lips would drop helplessly to me another day, which, some time, before the lightest task. I knew that I I I should spend above my sea. I hated ought to be marrying a woman of my my work, hated it inexpressibly, but I own sort, strong of body and not overwas buying my future with it, and I fine, a woman who would love me bewas ready to pay a big price. And at cause she knew no other kind of man, last, — I was no longer young, — there and not because I was a novelty among came the day on which I started on the the men she knew. The cups which journey which would bring me here for I broke should have warned me, were all time. You know in part, for I I heeding warnings — bits of transluhave seen your face when you watch cent china they were, crumpling up like the twilight come from out our ravines eggshells in my hands, for my hands and go creeping up to the crimson were used to a thick glass at tea-time.

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She, too, should have taken heed. But rabbits cresting the far waves, and she only rang for a servant to take the air gone suddenly motionless and away the broken fragments, called me stifling, I am so afraid that my mouth her awkward Bruin, kissed my scalded

goes dry. fingers and laughed — there never has 'I told her all this, but I only frightbeen anything on earth like that laughened her the more. There were the of hers.

gulls - I saw her, time after time, sit'So I brought her here, just another ting in the big window to watch them bit of fragile china where iron and steel sweeping up on the wind over the edge should have been. In the middle of the of the cliff. She seemed to like them. night sometimes, after a very sad even- So I told her more about them, told her ing, I can still see her smiling as she what they really were, - which every smiled that day, her teeth on her lower one knows who has ever seen them follip, when we walked for the first time lowing a ship, — the souls of sailors

together up the path to our cliff and drowned at sea. I thought to please streamers of wild blackberry tore at her. But she only shuddered. And she her arms and hair.

never again sat in that window to 'Of course we were gay for a time watch them sailing past. And on restpicnicking she called it. It was fun to less nights, when the sea roared under build the new house, to plan the garden; the lash of the wind - oh, my God! fun to read together through the long "At the end of that winter I begged summer afternoons. I was in a heaven her to go back to her people. She would of happiness. And then, - it was when have gone, I think, did she not know the first storm of autumn was gather that a child was coming. Which made ing, – one evening she came to me and everything more hopeless still. For she asked, simply, like a child, “When are could not bear the thought of bringing we going home?”

a daughter into this wild life; and I ‘Do you see it all there, in that ques- should have chosen to remain childless tion, all the horror of the next year? rather than have a son of mine grow She did not leave me the Roman soft-bodied and soft-souled in the city Catholics are even more unbending which she loved. For we had shared than we; she did not quarrel, she did too many secrets, that son and I, and not even complain, much. She simply we had very splendid years to live grew afraid. Afraid of the howl of together. jackals and the screech of owls, yet 'It was then that we gave to each more afraid still of the silence, afraid of other the solemn pledges which were the Turks and Kurds who worked on to bind us once and for all time. If a the place and worshiped her for an daughter came to us, I was to give up angel, afraid of the forest, afraid of the all this and go back, back to my prowind, terrified by the sea.

fession and the life I hated. But if it 'I tried to reason with her; I too was was a boy, — and how I hoped for it! afraid, I told her, and I spoke the truth. - then it would be Caucasus forWhen I am alone in the forest after a ever. It seemed fair enough to me -I snowstorm, with everything white and should have lived up to my part had still, I am so afraid that I would let Stasya been a girl. But she failed me a boar charge me rather than dare utterly. She stayed. But she would not break the silence with my gun. When live. I don't think I was hard; I let the sky on the horizon grows murky as her send for Mademoiselle, and I said it did to-day, with the little white nothing when she gave to my son that

heathenish name of the Poles. Ivan he hands are clean. All this I could stand. should have been, like myself, like my But, in the fullness of her revenge, she father and my father's father. She put into my bóy's heart a fear of me. should have been content. But she was Stasya cringes when I touch him. Sureunreasonable, - women are, you know, ly she sees it now the beauty of the

and she died. And that was not all!' place as I see it; surely she understands

Again came the sound of thin glass now why I could not go away. I burtouched shakily to thick. Father stir- ied her here that, with her new vision, red uneasily, his chair creaked in the she might see. Yet she will not lift the silence.

curse. No Russian soul could do a 'She pleaded with me when she was thing such as this! dying, to send Stasya to Warsaw, to 'For a time I thought that Stasya give him to her sister. I promised it - would change. When I came to know one does not deny a death-bed plea. your young cut-throats, I brought him But I had no thought of keeping that here. If he could be made into a boy, promise. They talk of mother-love! could be taught to romp, to laugh, to But I wonder if a woman ever knows, fight, your vandals alone could do it. quite, what a son can mean to a man

I ordered Mademoiselle to keep away. who remembers his own lonely boyhood. I wanted him to be scratched and Stasya stayed with me. And then, bumped and battered. I wanted him from her grave she reached out and laid to cry until he learned to fight instead. a curse upon him.'

I watched them playing day after day. In my bed, suddenly, I regretted the And all the sorrow which had been door we had not closed. Something mine was as nothing to the torture of awful was going on in the next room, these playtimes. Yet on some days I something which could not be stayed, was hopeful. There was the evening like the storm which was making me on which he talked to me of bandits! shiver for all the blankets over me. To have him always shrink at sight of

'I know that, to yourself, you are me, to have him tremble when I spoke laughing. Laughing and thinking of to him, and then, one evening, to have the folk tales which fill a peasant child's him come and stand between my knees, life. But Stasya was a perfect baby. I his hand on my arm, and talk, with can still feel the first grip of his fist on shining eyes, of bandits! That night I my finger. There was no hint in him of sobbed myself to sleep like a hysterithese wrists no bigger than my thumbs, cal schoolgirl. I bought him a dagger of the neck which I can encompass with next day — walked to Batum because one hand

until she died. She had I could not wait for the train. It was wanted a girl who would free her from a real one, silver-hilted. Your Fedik this. So she took all manliness from would go through fire to claim it. And Stasya, gave him a begging smile, and Stasya cried out with terror at sight made him, too, afraid. Hour after of it, and ran and hid from me! The hour he sits silently, with his books and coward!' his pictures and his crayons, in some ‘Not a coward! Anything but a corner of the house which has no win- coward!' Father's words were sharp, dow opening on either forest or sea, and I knew of what he was thinking. and every day he is a little more listless 'Ivan Ivanovich,' he went on, hurriedthan on the day before. Sometimes he ly, lest he be interrupted, 'why don't plays with dolls. Dolls don't hurt him, you drop your fairy tales? Why don't he says. His toys are neatly piled, his you get a first-class nurse for Stasya,



why don't you take him into a higher He was pacing the floor now. I could altitude, away from our swamps? If hear his feet when he came to the space you give him mountain air, if you watch between the rugs. And his voice was his diet -'

very tired. 'Diet?' and Ivanoff cursed. 'I am 'So, I have made my decision. It telling you of the thing which burns me came to me the thought which I had night and day, and only the doctor in driven from me a thousand times you is listening! If you had seen what he stood bowing there, ankle-deep in I saw this afternoon

water, the heels of his soaked shoes 'They were looting a sinking ship. close together. One cannot win a fight

a Your Fedik was in command; I'd cast against the dead. I shall take them to away my soủl for such a son! My own Odessa, him and Mademoiselle, and put fists went tight, I was so afraid that them on a Warsaw train. It is queer, they could not get all the treasure be- after the longings for this country, that fore the waves took the hull away. the only wish which is left me is the There was the waterlogged old rowboat wish that I too could go with them. I and the pebbles which filled the bags, should hate it as of old for myself, and, but I swear I saw the sinking galleon for Stasya, I should die a new death and heard the clinking of the gold each day. But I could see him. And doubloons. And Stasya! Never had even that I cannot do. She will be I seen him so. Hair tousled, shoes kinder if he is away from me. For, drenched, the cutlass swinging in his when he is gone, I shall begin my prayer hand - once he swore and, at the to her, an endless prayer, for the lifting word, I forgave his mother everything. of the curse. And his aunt will give Already I saw him, square-shouldered him everything - everything that goes and reckless, playing wild games and with gilt chairs and pretty speeches climbing trees; heard him laughing and and cups which break in the hands of shouting through my house, slamming a man! You have more wine?' doors as he went. Already I was teach- ‘But how,' said father after a time, ing him to shoot, to swim, to row, to ‘how will you live without him?' sail. And then, just then, he bumped Ivanoff laughed unhappily. into Fedik, head on and Fedik's fault. 'It is better than building another He should have knocked him down, cross on my

cliff.' or tried to, — he was a pirate fighting He went away soon after that; or it for his loot. But he stopped still, dead may be that I fell asleep. The last still, his cutlass hanging, the begging words which I heard that night seemed, smile back on his lips. Pardon,” he just then, of no especial moment. said, “pardon.” And, man, he clicked 'One condition shall I impose upon his heels! Her cousins used to click her, the aunt. Stasya shall go into the their heels just so, - and how I loathed army. We shall see whether even the them for it! -- when they bowed among curse of a dead mother can keep him the gilt-legged chairs of her father's from fighting there.' house. But no one had taught Stasya. I questioned Mademoiselle. She was

III pleased: it's in the blood, she said. But man-made things such as that do not We awoke, next morning, to a brandget into the blood. It is the dead new world, a world of dazzling sunmother over him. And I am helpless, shine, of shreds of white clouds tearing helpless.'

across the sky, of a glistening forest

still dripping with rain, of a gray-green dared address him, so formidable did sea gone mad. The dogs whined im- his profile show against the window, patiently under our windows; in the but — bold with the boldness of the kitchen Ali the Kurd was imploring favorite — Fedik ran gayly after him the good hakim to find some means when we had jumped down at our halfwhereby that sea could be held from station. cutting into the field which he had Zdravstruitye!' he called. planted to corn.

Ivanoff turned and saw him, saw Shaking with the thrill of all that father, turned again, and walked away lay before us, our fingers fumbled over with great uneven strides. buttons and straps. To swing on the 'Father!' Fedik whispered, aghast; branches of uprooted chestnut trees, what is it? Is he angry with you?' to count the tiles blown from the house Very angry'— father's voice was and barn, to race to where the pebbly strangely quiet. *You see, my son, he beach was wide enough for quick re- has told his secret to me. Some day, treat and snatch at the delightful perhaps, I shall tell you.' wreckage before the breakers caught it So Stasya came no more to play with back, to stand and shake our heads us, and, because he had miraculously with Ali at the foam-tipped tongues regained all the prestige which our which reached over the bank and far dreams once gave to him, we missed into the soft earth, mercilessly crum- him unbelievably. Yet on the morning bling row after row of young green on which he was to leave us, Ivanoff's shoots

that morning held no minute Turk came to ask us to run down to for either the future or the past. It was the railroad in time for the early train. only when, with the sun high overhead, With Stasya glad and excited, with we were going home, walking backward the radiant Mademoiselle calling to the lest we lose sight of the tumbling sea, one in the torn trousers to come and that we looked at the cross, black kiss her, with Ivanoff's face turned and very still against the flying clouds, away from us, it should not have been - and, all in a flash, remembered a sad occasion, to us who still measured Ivanoff's story.

sorrow by the attending tears. Yet We talked it over excitedly, — we sad it was, and final, and very much had dropped asleep at different points like death — the departure of the litof it, but even then there remained tle boy who was going away because much that was neither clear' nor con- we could not make a vandal of him. vincing, and we went to sister with it: We were glad when the train crept she was thirteen and knew everything. from out the tunnel and we had done But, as usual, sister was very busy de- with shaking Stasya's limp hand, glad ciding whether to devote her life to the when the three had climbed aboard the uplifting of the poor or to the breaking rear platform and the train puffed heavof a prince's heart, and, as usual, we

ily away. got nothing at all from her. And soon Stasya and Mademoiselle disappearanother problem was added to our ever- ed in the car, but Ivanoff stood at the lengthening list.

railing, his eyes raised to his cliff, and, Father had taken us to Batum next he looked, he slowly bared his head. day, and we were returning in the same And we knew that he had begun his endcar with Ivanoff. I should not have

less prayer.

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